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Daniel 11: The Specifics of Prophecy

Daniel 11 is a pretty amazing chapter. Remember that we spent Daniel 8 talking about Alexander the Great, and Daniel 11 begins with some very impressive prophecy about what would happen around his death as the aftermath of his death.

Dan 11:3  And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

Dan 11:4  And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.

Dan 11:5  And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.

The mighty king is Alexander, and when he died, his kingdom was divided into four parts after the dust settled and all of the rivalries for power were done. Also, it did not seem that any of these rulers over these four provinces were descendants of Alexander. Again, this is a pretty remarkable prophecy as we have been noting to the entire book of Daniel.

I picked this specific prophecy to talk about simply for the fact that it is highly specific. It also seems to be counterintuitive. If a king had a great kingdom and was such a powerful ruler, you would imagine that the leadership of that kingdom would become a dynasty. That seemed to be how most ancient governmental structures worked. There really had been no one greater than Alexander in terms of land and power previously, so the point that it would not be passed to his children would be remarkable.

Prophecy is an important thing in the Bible, and, as we have talked about before, it is also one of the most highly controversial. The thing that I keep returning to and encourage you to as well is the fact that as I browse across the Internet reading about most of the disputes to the legitimacy of Daniel, a lot of it comes back to a philosophical assumption that prophecy is impossible by default. That is not a good reason to reject the book of Daniel. Perhaps there are other valid criticisms based on evidence (I did not really see any that did not have solid answers), but at least do not simply make a philosophical assumption that really does not have a base to sustain it.